A financial manager at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, above, is the winner of this year's White House's SAVE award. (NASA)
NASA employee Matthew Ritsko has won the White House's SAVE award this year for his idea to cut down on unneeded tool purchases.
Ritsko, a financial manager at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, noticed that NASA often did not track what happened to specialized tools and equipment purchased in connection with various flight projects, Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Jeffrey Zients wrote on his blog. To reduce duplicative purchases, Ritsko recommended creating a central repository — or "lending library" — where tools could be stored and checked out.
He was one of four finalists for the third annual SAVE award — out of more than 48,000 votes cast online, Ritsko's idea received some 19,000, according to Zients. Along with the suggestions of the other three finalists, it will be folded into the Obama administration's fiscal 2013 budget request. Ritsko will also get to meet Obama.
The SAVE (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency) Award seeks federal employees' ideas for making government run better. Other ideas from this year's finalists include: a halt to buying hard copies of U.S. Code books; stopping the printing of OASIS, a quarterly in-house magazine produced by the Social Security Administration; and cutting back on Housing and Urban Development Department reviews of highly rated subsidized apartment properties.